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What I learned from a 40 day yoga challenge.

Dancer Waimea

Starting mid-January, I embarked on a journey with my yoga studio. They put on a new year’s 40-day challenge and while I knew that making it to 40 classes in 40 days was going to be really challenging, I set out to do 30 in 40 days.

I leapt into this goal without much thought and about three-quarters of the way through realized that a trip to Los Angeles at the end of the challenge was probably going to make it impossible for me to meet my goal. Nevertheless, I came in at essentially practicing yoga every other day, which is more consistently than I ever had since starting my practice nearly a decade ago. I learned a lot about myself during this challenge and a lot about the power of yoga.

  1. I am a genuinely happier person when I practice yoga consistently.
    Not only do the motions just feel good in my body, but the mental clarity allows me to respond to stressful situations better. I’m also more apt to notice the positive things in my day-to-day life.
  2. Yoga can strengthen just as much as any other workout.
    Part of the reason I had been struggling to practice this consistently (and meanwhile was paying for an upscale studio membership) was that I was trying to balance so many other workouts. I was under the impression that I would be “missing” something if I dedicated more time to yoga and maybe 40 days is too short to tell but I don’t think this is the case. I couldn’t remember the last time I ran prior to a 4 mile run with my girlfriends a couple of weeks into this challenge and it was a breeze. I was hardly even sore the next day but of course put myself back in the studio!
  3. I crave healthier foods.
    Especially because I practice in a heated studio, the last thing I want to do before coming to class is eat something that will make twisting and moving my body that much more uncomfortable. And leaving the studio sweaty and warm makes me crave smoothies, green juices and salads. I’ll take it!
  4. The more you go, the more you discover about yourself.
    Yoga practice is a time to become intimately aware of your body both internally and in space. Practicing this much gave me the chance to really notice the differences in how I was feeling from day-to-day and how to nourish myself accordingly.
  5. The more you go, the more yoga gives back.
    I can’t stress enough the physical component of yoga is very real but the mental part is like the juiciest secret that I want to scream from mountaintops! Beginning to unravel doubt and insecurities and replace them with the knowledge that you have all the power inside you to guide your life is incredible AF and will permeate into all aspects of your life. Imagine facing every challenge in life with grace and strength? I definitely aspire to be able to do that!

Those are my initial thoughts! I am definitely going to try and continue a regular practice both at my studio and at home and this fall I am hoping to embark on a yoga teacher training to deepen my practice as well as be able to share it with others.

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